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Should the State Gradually Buy Back 5% of Commercial UCI Salmon Fishing Permits?

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  • Should the State Gradually Buy Back 5% of Commercial UCI Salmon Fishing Permits?

    There are 1,309 commercial salmon fishing permits for the Cook Inlet area (1,012, or 77% held by residents), and the commercial salmon harvest for Cook Inlet generally averages approximately 80% of the overall salmon harvest.

    Should the state gradually buy back 5% of those permits (65 of them) in order to reduce the overall pressure on Susitna-Yentna stock and increase allocation for the sport/personal use/subsistence fisheries?
    18
    I Strongly Support This Proposal
    55.56%
    10
    I Somewhat Support This Proposal
    0.00%
    0
    I'm Neutral On This Proposal
    16.67%
    3
    I Somewhat Oppose This Proposal
    0.00%
    0
    I Strongly Oppose This Proposal
    27.78%
    5

  • #2
    Think again....

    It would accomplish little. As far as causing any meaningful reduction in commercial catch ( I presume a re-allocation to sport/PU is the intent of the proposal) it wouldn't make a difference.

    Same big ***** piece of pie would just be split over fewer permit holders.

    The only way to make that allocation shift happen is to re-write the in-river goal.
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
    sigpic
    The KeenEye MD

    Comment


    • #3
      Wasting our time

      Mark, first one cannot buy back just some random number of permits - like 5%. The number is set by CFEC based on a viable fishery. Second, more than 5% of the permits are not fishing so you would be buying permits that are not fishing. All permits would be up for buyback.

      So your poll is based on a false premise and lack of understanding on how the system would work. Why waste our time and computer space for this type of poll? Maybe some homework on why a buy back program is in regulation would help. It is not for allocation. It is for making a commercial fishery economically sound. So less fisherman would still catch the same number of fish.

      Comment


      • #4
        While Nerka and others may disagree with me, I think a buyback -- if done right -- may have merit. But, 5% won't do anything. There are more "latent" permits out there than that (permits that aren't currently being used)...so to really make a difference in the "fishing power", you have to go beyond absorbing the latent permits.

        However, a buyback plan has to make it valuable to all parties...it's not just making a bigger pie for the remaining commercial guys as FnP mentions. But, where Nerka and others will argue (I expect) is that the in-river fisheries of the Kenai (sport/PU) can only catch so many fish...loading the river with more sockeye will certainly improve catch rates and individual angler success, but will exceed the escapement goals (absent a very significant increase of in-river effort).

        How many more spawners can the river absorb if the in-river users can't catch all of them? That's been one of the front-and-center arguments at the BOF recently. Fortunately there hasn't been a true crash of the system due to overescapement, but I believe the upper end is out there somewhere (although some others may disagree).
        "Fishing relaxes me. It's like yoga, except I still get to kill something." --Ron Swanson

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by fishNphysician View Post
          It would accomplish little. As far as causing any meaningful reduction in commercial catch ( I presume a re-allocation to sport/PU is the intent of the proposal) it wouldn't make a difference.

          Same big ***** piece of pie would just be split over fewer permit holders.....
          Your point is well taken and true, however, re-allocation to sport/pu/subsistence isn't the complete goal.

          One of the courses of action would be to focus on certain commercial fishing lease locations, like the west side set net leases which might be affecting Susitna-Yentna drainages.

          .....The only way to make that allocation shift happen is to re-write the in-river goal.
          For the Kenai River, yes. I agree.

          But Cook Inlet includes more than just the Kenai and Kasilof River systems. And reduced commercial harvest should be just a part of the overall plan to recover the Susitna-Yentna drainages.

          The Kenai/Kasilof systems get intensive stocking which assure prosperity.

          Other systems don't get as much enhancement.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Mark View Post
            The Kenai/Kasilof systems get intensive stocking which assure prosperity.

            Other systems don't get as much enhancement.
            Does the Kenai get any enhancement at all? I don't believe so, but could be wrong...and the Kasilof's enhancement by CIAA was halted a number of years ago, courtesy USFWS.
            "Fishing relaxes me. It's like yoga, except I still get to kill something." --Ron Swanson

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Nerka View Post
              Mark, first one cannot buy back just some random number of permits - like 5%. The number is set by CFEC based on a viable fishery. Second, more than 5% of the permits are not fishing so you would be buying permits that are not fishing. All permits would be up for buyback....
              I'm not sure what you mean here.

              I know a number of permits aren't fished annually, but a buyback of permits mean they will not be used in the future at all. Even if a number of permits are bought back, there will still be permits annually that won't be fished, right?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by MRFISH View Post
                While Nerka and others may disagree with me, I think a buyback -- if done right -- may have merit. But, 5% won't do anything. There are more "latent" permits out there than that (permits that aren't currently being used)...so to really make a difference in the "fishing power", you have to go beyond absorbing the latent permits.....
                Don't permits have to be fished after a certain number of non-fished years (except latent permits)?

                And just how many latent permits are there?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by MRFISH View Post
                  Originally Posted by Mark
                  The Kenai/Kasilof systems get intensive stocking which assure prosperity.

                  Other systems don't get as much enhancement.
                  Does the Kenai get any enhancement at all? I don't believe so, but could be wrong...and the Kasilof's enhancement by CIAA was halted a number of years ago, courtesy USFWS.
                  I didn't know about the USFWS halting Kasilof enhancement. What was their rationale?

                  Where is CIAA enhancing?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mark View Post
                    I didn't know about the USFWS halting Kasilof enhancement. What was their rationale?

                    Where is CIAA enhancing?
                    If I remember correctly, the sockeye enhancement to the Kasilof (Tustamena Lake) was halted because it (according to USFWS) was a "commercial activity/enterprise" (the stocking) in a federal refuge. I think 2004 or 2005 was the last year of fry release?

                    And, others can answer the question about where CIAA is enhancing...it's probably on their website.
                    "Fishing relaxes me. It's like yoga, except I still get to kill something." --Ron Swanson

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      CFEC Has Information

                      The CFEC website has a lot of information that an individual could access for this topic.

                      To consider the poll posted there are three commercial salmon fisheries in Cook Inlet, Drift Gillnet, Set Gillnet and Seine. The number of permits for each fishery, and the number of active permits and % not fished were pulled from this report for 2007. (2007 data is still considered preliminary)
                      http://www.cfec.state.ak.us/research...alpmt98_07.pdf

                      Drift Gillnet: 571 permits; 417 permits fished in 2007; 154 or 27% not fished
                      Set Gillnet: 738 permits; 483 permits fished in 2007; 255 or 34.6% not fished
                      Seine: 83 permits; 19 fished in 2007; 64 or 77.7% not fished.

                      A latent permit is a permit that was not fished within the year. A permit is valid as long as the renewal fee is paid yearly. IF you go two years without paying your renewal fee, they send you a certified letter stating that the permit will be extinguished if the renewal fees aren't paid. Many permits have been lost over the years in various fisheries due to non-renewals. You can not receive your permit card to fish without all renewal fees being current.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks for these answers, folks.

                        Originally posted by Just the Facts View Post
                        .....A latent permit is a permit that was not fished within the year. A permit is valid as long as the renewal fee is paid yearly. IF you go two years without paying your renewal fee, they send you a certified letter stating that the permit will be extinguished if the renewal fees aren't paid.....
                        This is as I've understood; permits are fished or not depending on the permit holder, many of whom may not fish depending on expected prices, or because of personal issues. If some permits are bought back by the state and taken out of production, there will still be some permits annually which may not be fished.

                        Correct?


                        ....Many permits have been lost over the years in various fisheries due to non-renewals.......
                        Does anybody know what happened to these permits that were lost to non-renewals?

                        Were they re-issued to somebody else?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          goals still drive the system

                          The foundation of Alaska salmon management is escapement goal management. As long as there are goals the number of fisherman harvesting fish will not change the harvest levels. So if you cut in half the harvest by commercial fisherman some other group needs to harvest those fish. If not Alaska is giving up the foundational structure of its salmon management program. The BOF was asked to do this in UCI at the last meeting and said no- escapement goals take priority.

                          So can the sport fishery harvest the fish - no.

                          If you just focus on sockeye salmon the Kasilof River and Kenai River does not have the fishing power to harvest hundreds of thousands of sockeye salmon over the present levels - no matter how high a bag limit you give.

                          Second, other stocks in UCI like chum and pink salmon would go unharvested. It is doubtful that one could call this sustainable fisheries management.

                          Finally, if one maintains goals then the fish are just redistributed back into the remaining fisherman. One thing about a buyback is that if 20% of the permits are purchased those 20% not fishing may come back into the fishery. Net gain zero.

                          Also, who says there is a sport fish allocation problem. Mark keeps stating this and makes everyone jump to that tune when in point of fact sport fisherman in the valley are not harvesting all the fish available to them in the first place. A more rationale discussion would be how to provide access to those fish with the money used in a buyback.

                          Another point, a buyback is funded by regulation by the remaining commercial fisherman. Why would they fund a buyback to give fish to another user group. So state law would have to be changed to do this.

                          In conclusion, Mark is off the mark on the need for more fish for valley sport fisherman and off the mark on the buyback program.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Mark View Post
                            Does anybody know what happened to these permits that were lost to non-renewals?

                            Were they re-issued to somebody else?
                            No, they are not re-issued - they go away permanently.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Nerka View Post
                              The foundation of Alaska salmon management is escapement goal management. As long as there are goals the number of fisherman harvesting fish will not change the harvest levels. So if you cut in half the harvest by commercial fisherman some other group needs to harvest those fish. If not Alaska is giving up the foundational structure of its salmon management program. The BOF was asked to do this in UCI at the last meeting and said no- escapement goals take priority.....
                              And if lower escapement goals are not achieved regularly? Are measures mandated?

                              So can the sport fishery harvest the fish - no.
                              Currently? I agree.

                              Can sport/personal use/subsistence harvest the fish?

                              I think that depends on how much we're discussing.

                              If you just focus on sockeye salmon the Kasilof River and Kenai River does not have the fishing power to harvest hundreds of thousands of sockeye salmon over the present levels - no matter how high a bag limit you give.

                              Second, other stocks in UCI like chum and pink salmon would go unharvested. It is doubtful that one could call this sustainable fisheries management.
                              Good points, and duly noted.

                              Finally, if one maintains goals then the fish are just redistributed back into the remaining fisherman. One thing about a buyback is that if 20% of the permits are purchased those 20% not fishing may come back into the fishery. Net gain zero.
                              This point is weak.

                              If the goal is an overall 5% active permit reduction is the goal, 8% of the permits may need to be bought back.

                              Also, who says there is a sport fish allocation problem. Mark keeps stating this and makes everyone jump to that tune when in point of fact sport fisherman in the valley are not harvesting all the fish available to them in the first place. A more rationale discussion would be how to provide access to those fish with the money used in a buyback.
                              I'd love to discuss that. Who do we need to talk to?

                              Isn't it you partially blaming development as the problem with Susitna-Yentna fish returns?

                              Another point, a buyback is funded by regulation by the remaining commercial fisherman. Why would they fund a buyback to give fish to another user group.
                              Fewer commercial competitors raises prices for them.

                              ....In conclusion, Mark is off the mark on the need for more fish for valley sport fisherman....
                              1) So Susitna/Yentna fish returns are fine?

                              2) I've repeatedly discussed sport, personal use, and subsistence fisheries as beneficiaries

                              Comment

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